MELISSA MANCHESTER : BETTER DAYS & HAPPY ENDINGS
Label : Arista
Length : 41:07
Release Date : 1976
Review (AllMusic) : Following the success of Melissa, and particularly its Top Ten single "Midnite Blue," Melissa Manchester reassembled the same team and attempted to replicate the formula. Primarily, that meant more intimate, lushly produced ballads with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and these included "Better Days," essentially a "Midnite Blue" sequel that told what happened the morning after, and "Just You and I," a song with more than a whiff of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Both those songs, along with a cover of Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me," made the singles charts, though only "Just You and I" cracked the Top 40. The funny thing was that the big ballad follow-up to "Midnite Blue" was right there on the record if anybody at Arista had had the ears to hear it: at the end of side one was Manchester and Sager's "Come in from the Rain," which was turned into a chart single by Captain & Tennille the following year, subsequently covered by numerous artists, and became a pop standard. Even so, Better Days & Happy Endings confirmed that Manchester had abandoned the individual creativity displayed on her second album, Bright Eyes, in favor of the potential mass commerciality glimpsed on Melissa, which meant that she became largely definable in terms of units sold, and by that measure her fourth album was a disappointment.